Camping with a pop-up camper offers the adventure of camping in almost any environment, and the convenience of being towed by all types of cars and trucks. Properly setting up your camper takes some careful planning and tricks to keep it stabilized and safe to be occupied, especially in uneven terrain.
The first trick to stabilizing a pop-up camper is to start with as level ground as possible. When choosing a camp site, you must consider the slope of the ground from front-to-back, as well as side-to-side. It is much easier to stabilize a camper when the ground slopes from front-to-back, as the wheels can be used as a pivot point to level. Park your camper on the driest and hardest soil possible, as this keeps the camper from sinking into the ground.
When faced with a wet, sandy or muddy base to park your camper, you should utilize plywood or wood planks under the camper wheel to keep them from sinking. Standard 3/8- or 1/2-inch plywood, cut in 2- to 3-foot sections make ideal bases to park your camper. Other items such as 2-by-6- or 2-by-8-inch boards, cut in 4- to 6-foot lengths also work, but need a much larger storage area.
Many pop-up campers come standard with small levels on the exterior, but are often hard to read and inaccurate. Purchase a construction level that is 3- to 5-foot in length, and keep it in the pop-up camper to give you a true reading of level. A level camper keeps it stable by equally distributing the weight.
Automotive jack stands are an ideal solution to level a camper, as they can be placed under the camper to provide support. Adjustable jack stands, available from most big box retailers and automotive stores, are lightweight and easily store in camper compartments. They can be placed under the axle, bumpers or frame to keep the camper from shifting.
Sleeping Area Supports
Pop-up campers that feature fold-out sleep areas can experience instability due to the extreme weight on one side. A support to anchor the bedding area to the ground alleviates any instability issues by redirecting the weight into the ground. These supports can be made from common lumber such as 2-by-4s that can be secured in place with a roofing bracket hanger on the camper, and the other end sitting on the ground surface.